Welcome to the 10th Sound & Image Challenge, celebrating the first decade of this internationally acclaimed film and video Festival with a record selection to be presented at Macau, from the 3rd to the 10th of December 2019. 

Altogether, 195 short films and videos will be shown to the public at the iconic Dom Pedro V Theatre and few at the restored Cinema Capitol, the movie house that for decades entertained Macau’s eager movie goers with great hits from the historically relevant Hong Kong and Chinese film studious. Sound & Image Challenge started 10 years ago from humble beginnings and objectives, as a competition for promotional films oriented towards public affairs and an incentive for production of VTRs for Macau own grown musical bands. 

It rapidly became international and the Festival director Lúcia Lemos, saw the opportunity to turn it into something bigger, taking advantage of Macau Government’s investment in developing its own cultural and creative industries and the historical heritage of this city. Today, we are welcoming movie directors from Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Guinea-Bissau, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Moldova, Netherlands, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine, United States, Venezuela and Vietnam.

This year’s selection of 112 films and 8 musical videos will all be place for public choice as well as the scrutiny on the Jury and Grand Jury panels. 

We would like to thank the Office of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture for the support over the years to IEEM and CCI, to Macau Foundation for the financial support and to the Macau Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC) for allowing us to use their wonderful facilities.  

We are also deeply in gratitude to all participants of the Festival, members of the Grand and Selection Juries, our sponsors and supporting organizations, the Media, the Festival Director and her team, for their great work of building up Sound & Image Challenge this successful and international Festival we have today.

Good luck and raise the curtains!

José Luís de Sales Marques
President of Sound & Image Challenge International Festival
President of IEEM

The Audiovisual Art of the International Short Film Festival in Macau

Before presenting the Sound & Image Challenge International Festival 2019, we would like to share with our esteemed audience, the film screenings in Macau that started in 1905, a year after the installation of the electric light. The groundbreaking fact immediately began the establishment of cinemas (called CINEMATOGRAPHS), where the increasing number of viewers grew interested in the 7th art was just as extraordinary as the competitiveness and rivalry among entrepreneurs.

The Cinema Houses in Macau enthusiastically presented the SILENT films at the Chinese opera sheds, where the imagination of the audience triggered them to faraway countries such as United States, France, Italy, Russia and so on. Idols of romance and drama such as Rudolfo Valentino and Charles Chaplin awoke in the audience, sparking intimate and unknown desires through the screen. 

From the Silent to Talkie movies came the musical comedy. In 1927 the film “The Jazz Singer” by Alan Crosland, was the first to have sound, music, songs and dialogues, thanks to the use of the innovative and effective sound system. 

In the 1930s the TALKIES films appeared in Macau bringing sound to viewers and later other movies showing the stars singing and dancing. It was a terrific success. All the people chirped and danced to the songs of the screening films. Thus the dancing tea parties began in Macau. 

Production companies such as the “Netflix” today, produces film series with multi-episode themed: religious, epic, thrillers, spectacular movies such as “Ben-Hur”, “The Vampires”, “Sherlock Holmes”, “Lucille Love”, “Broken Coin”, “Clutching Hand”, “Lassie”, etc. In 1929, the CAPITOL THEATRE had the best sound and image system, and movie tickets for every session were sold out quickly. In those glorious film days to the 90s of the 21st century, the beautiful Dom Pedro V Theatre rivalled with the other cinemas, and they organised matinees for children and dancing tea parties.

And, today (2019), we all enjoy this Theatre to celebrate the Short Film Festival, a perfect marriage with the memorable ambience of this building with the film modernity.

This year, we are extremely happy because we also celebrate the 10th anniversary of the SOUND & IMAGE CHALLENGE, launched in 2010, which, for five consecutive years was regulated as an audiovisual contest. Since 2015, this Short Film Festival is held annually in Macau exhibiting the latest film productions worldwide. Despite some imposed limitations, a total of 3897 short films and music videos were submitted to this year’s SHORTS and VOLUME international competitions. The growing number of high-quality Official Selection for the Sound & Image Challenge International Festival 2019 exceeded our expectations and we happily extended the Festival. The Official Selection of SHORTS 2019 has 112 films consisting of 63 fictions, 26 animations and 23 documentaries. These shorts are candidates to the Festival’s awards in the submitted category. The awards are designated as follow: Best Film of the Festival, Best Fiction, Best Animation, Best Documentary, Macau Cultural Identity, Best Local Entry and Audience Award. Among the Official Selection in Fiction, 14 films were nominated for the following Prestigious Awards: Best Cinematography, Best Director, Best Music, Best Sound Design, Best Editing and Best Visual Effects. The Audience Award will be determined by the public through VOTING in presence at the Festival. Besides that the Official Selection of VOLUME 2019 consists of 8 music videos nominated for the following awards: Best Music Video, Best Song and Best Visual Effects.

The Festival’s program includes EXPANDED CINEMA with 15 invited films by directors from Guinea-Bissau, Sweden, Denmark, Lithuania, Sri Lanka, Ukraine and Macau. The public will be delighted to watch 135 high-quality films and music videos; attend MASTERCLASSES in Fiction and Animation of techniques on directing, production and visual effects by the following directors: Lanka Bandaranayake (Sri Lanka), Måns Berthas (Sweden) and Julien Dykmans (France); enjoy POST SCREENING TALKS with movie directors of the finalists; MEET THE JURY to better understand the selected films; join a WALKING TOUR along the past filming locations that may well spark the interest to the movie directors for their next film.

We would like to thank the following sponsoring entities for their trust and support: Macau Foundation, Macau Cultural Institute, Owners Association of Dom Pedro V Theatre, Orient Foundation, Banco Nacional Ultramarino, University of Saint Joseph, University of Macau, Casa de Portugal in Macau and Rui Cunha Foundation. Without the unconditional support of the local Media, we could not have reached local and overseas people.  We would like to express our thanks to the following media partners who massively published the Festival: Jornal Tribuna de Macau, Hoje Macau, Ponto Final, O Clarim, Plataforma, Macau Post Daily, Macau Daily Times and Teledifusão de Macau (TDM).

Since 2015, filmmakers of the Official Selection from worldwide come to Macau for the Festival to know the city and above all, to exchange experiences of the local film industry, gastronomy and culture. Your presence and the public are undoubtedly our energy to keep this Festival going.

Join us, and enjoy a unique and unrepeatable experience. Each movie is shown only once.

Lúcia Lemos
Director of  Sound & Image Challenge International Festival
Coordinator of Creative Macau – Center For Creative Industries